South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 10, 2020

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September 2011 - Volume 8 - Issue 3


Five Steps to a Worthwhile Constructability Review

If you have or are considering using a construction management type approach for your healthcare building projects, your contractor has probably talked to you about constructability review. Done right, a constructability review can lead to enhanced quality, a reduction in change orders and information requests, cost savings, and optimized schedules which reduce the overall time of construction. However, recent industry statistics suggest the constructability review process normally gets skimmed over or is addressed as a “back burner” effort due to time constraints within the design and construction schedule.
So how do you, as an owner, know you are getting an adequate return on investment? Make sure you and your design and construction team adopt the following five fundamental strategies:
1. Focus on building the project. The constructability review should be about thinking through building sequence and process. By taking the time to analyze each step, the team will find that material conflict issues, holes, schedule busts, and other problems float to the surface and can be addressed. If addressing the review process as an exercise in flipping plans, and expecting issues to miraculously show themselves, the process will fail.
2. Think systems integration. Individual system designs are rarely problematic. It is when they meld with other systems, equipment and/or building components that things get a bit more dicey. It is at these interface points where the team needs to pay particular attention to fit and function, material compatibility and, when addressing building envelope, uncontrolled airways and waterways. A well ordered and complete effort in this strategy can save significant time and cost later.
3. Constructability Review must be constructive. Reviews can take place at any point in the design process – the key is to always be cognizant of providing a “value added” effort aligned with the specific design point of the project. For example, in early design, it is of little value to create exhaustive lists of items that are yet to be designed. Instead focus on reviewing completed items, general systems and building methodologies, and address materials type and equipment needs from a life cycle standpoint.
4. “Deep Dive” on critical, high dollar and sequencing items. Effective time management from the entire project team is essential to staying on track and meeting deadlines. Constructability reviews should be in sync with this philosophy and not burden the design team with answering questions that have no significant impact on time, cost and quality. Instead focus on items that likely require clarification in the form of an RFI from the design team at a later date. Make those items part of the “deep dive” process within this strategy.
5. Don’t short cut the process. A constructability review analysis is only as good as the effort and time placed in it. In the later stages of design, a comprehensive and detailed approach to all document disciplines should be the order of the day and the expectation, and a compiled division menu of project deficiencies the result. The final task is to gather the project team together in what is called a “plan the plan” charrette. This intensely detailed brainstorming event distills the entire constructability effort into the final design/construction approach for the project with the owner, design team, and contractor in full agreement.
In the end, the goal of a true Constructability Review is to conclude with a 100% fully complete set of construction documents that includes the project teams “buy in”. This ultimately equates to a superior run project, accomplishing the quality level expected, and completed “on time”, effecting a lower price and a win/win solution for all!
Sam R. Doggart, Vice President, Managing Director - Healthcare Division, Kaufman Lynn Construction, can be reached at (561) 361-6700 or
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